Aging vision (or presbyopia) affects many people over the age of 40. People who have developed presbyopia find they need to hold books, magazines and other reading material at arm's length in order to focus properly. What are the causes of this condition and can vision be improved by exercising the eyes?
What causes Presbyopia?
Presbyopia is thought to be an age-related process, differing from astigmatism, near-sightedness and far-sightedness, which are related to the shape of the eyeball and are generally caused by genetic and environmental factors. Presbyopia is believed to stem from a gradual thickening and loss of flexibility of the lens inside the eye. It is commonly held that these age-related changes occur within the proteins in the lens, making the lens harder and less elastic. Age-related changes also take place in the muscle fibers surrounding the lens. With less elasticity, the eye has difficulty focusing on nearby objects.
How can vision be improved?
There are a number of eye exercises that have proven to be effective in alleviating the symptoms of presbyopia. These exercises consist of flexing and relaxing routines, which stimulate the eye muscles, thus overcoming laziness of the eyes. This helps them to perform more efficiently, leading to improved vision.
Exercises to improve your vision naturally
Focusing on near and far objects:
Hold your thumb in front of you, about 15cm away. Try to focus on your thumb. After 1 to 2 minutes, focus on any object which is more than 3m away from your thumb but in the same direction. Now refocus on your thumb again. Once you have done this a couple of times, try doing it with each breath you take, for between 5 and 10 minutes.
Zooming the object:
Sit up straight in a comfortable position. Stretch your arm out to arm's length while keeping your thumb in a "hitch-hiking" position.Focus on your thumb while it is at arm's length. Bring your thumb closer to your eyes while trying to maintain focus. Move your thumb back to arms length. Repeat this exercise for five minutes.
This is a very effective method to reset the vision when your eye has become tired and vision has become blurred. Rub both your palms together for 3 to 4 minutes, till you feel the warmth. Once warm, place them on your eyes in a cup shaped position, such that your fingers are resting on the forehead. Keep your eyes steady and make sure that no light passes in between the fingers. See the darkness inside your cup shaped hands and feel the warmth of your palms. Repeat several times.
Rotation of the eyeballs:
This exercise loosens your ocular eye muscles which helps to improve blood flow in surrounding areas of the eye, increasing the level of oxygen, thus improving vision. Close your eyes and rotate your eyeballs in a clockwise and then an anti-clockwise direction. Repeat this 10 to 15 times.
Up, down and from side to side:
Imagine a clock face in front of you. Now move your eyes from 12 to 6 o'clock, 20 times. Move your eyes from 3 to 9 o'clock for another 20 times. Next, rotate the eye around the clock in clockwise and anti-clockwise directions. After doing this, close your eyes and rest for a while.
Spending as little as 20 minutes a day should improve your vision noticeably within weeks. Objects that appeared blurred will begin to appear crisper and sharper.